Twice as many overweight children and almost three times as many overweight adolescents as there were in 1980's

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The number of people who are overweight or obese is increasing at an alarming rate in the United States. There are nearly twice as many overweight children and almost three times as many overweight adolescents as there were in 1980. Larger waistlines are estimated to cause 300,000 deaths a year, a disturbing number that is projected to get worse. To help reign in this epidemic, the U.S. Surgeon General is making weight management a national health priority, calling on health professionals to find ways of curbing the trend.

Penn State is doing its part by teaming up with the Department of Health and Human Services to offer the Mid-Atlantic Obesity Conference: "Responding to the Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity in the Mid-Atlantic States," which will be held June 10-11, 2004, at Penn State Great Valley in Malvern, Pa.

The one-and-one-half-day meeting aims to bring together federal, state and local public health officials; nutrition and physical fitness experts; health-care providers; school and food industry representatives; leaders of advocacy groups and community organizations; and interested consumers to identify issues, to form partnerships and to devise appropriate strategies for addressing the obesity epidemic in our region.

Multiple aspects of obesity will be addressed, including the various factors influencing weight (genetic, lifestyle, etc.), improving health-care access for the overweight and obese, dealing with the needs of specific populations regarding cultural aspects of obesity, as well as how agricultural systems contribute to obesity.

More information can be found by visiting https://www.outreach.psu.edu/ or by contacting John Farris, conference planner, by phone at (814) 863-5100 or e-mail at [email protected].

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